This is definitely not your 2010 self’s Nurarihyon. We’ve come a long way – with a new director, a crisper pace and an enjoyably dark tone that was only intermittently felt last year, this feels like a different series.
The track record for shounen manga that go to Kyoto to battle the top boss is pretty good, so I was pleased when this episode pretty much confirmed that S2 will follow the Kyoto Arc that’s almost as legendary as that other series’ Kyoto Arc. So when the name Hagotomo-Gitsume was uttered by Ryuji, it sent shivers up my spine almost as fast as it did Yura’s.
I liked the fact that the story pulled back from Ryuji and Mamiru being downright villains, thought of course by all accounts he did seem willing to kill his sister in the last episode. It was interesting, too, to see that Mamiru was the real power in the duo – though what he is exactly is unsure at this point. He’s been admitted to the main house, two of Yura’s big brothers (though I’m not sure if this was means literally) are dead, and all hands (including Yura) are summoned back to Kyoto to meet the danger of the centuries-old youkai that’s broken free of the seals Yura’s family had placed on it.
Of course, there’s a bit of drama at the Nura home too, as Yura now knows that both Rikuo and Tsurara are demons. Naturally, both because she’s an onmyouji and because she’s been lied to about it she’s a little upset (though tellingly she seems to take her anger out more on Yuki-onna, and blushes when she talks to night Rikuo). The scene between Yura and Rikuo was rather brilliant, right through the moment he pushed her into the pond. Make no mistake, no matter how warm and cuddly human Rikuo is his youkai counterpart is very much “other”, and Yura would do well to remember that – crush or no.
Rikuo’s offer to go to Kyoto seemed to take the sodden Yura by surprise, though it took all her will power not to break out in a huge grin. There’s a history with this Kyoto youkai – a point illustrated to the audience both by Nurarihyon’s clear unease at hearing the name, and by a flashback of the young Nura and his Night Parade on their last trip to Kyoto. The seeds have certainly been sown for an exciting turn for this series. And as a capper, you get a new omake – “Kana in Petit Lemon”. That promises to be interesting, too.